Archived Posts

The market doesn’t care

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Filed under: Clients, Innovation

Two of the smartest people writing on the web these days are Seth Godin and Scott Karp. They have an important message that everybody in the legal services marketplace, especially lawyers, needs to hear. First, this is what Seth had to say in the course of a short but eye-opening interview about the book publishing… Read more »

Decoupling price from cost in legal services

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Filed under: Billing, Competition, Technology

Virtually all the talk these days in client circles is about the cost of legal services. It’s well established that institutional purchasers of these services are under great pressure to reduce costs by, for example, “taking bids, asking for discounts, shopping around for lower-cost options.” Patrick J. Lamb points out that many in-house lawyers don’t… Read more »


A high-calibre crystal ball

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Filed under: Law21

When Dennis Kennedy contacted me a few weeks ago, to ask if I’d like to participate in an online roundtable on the impact of the economic crisis on lawyers to be published in the ABA’s Law Practice Today e-zine, I of course said yes on the spot. But when I logged into the site and… Read more »

Smart investing vs. law firm layoffs

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Filed under: Talent

I’m very satisfied with the status of my investments. The reason I’m very satisfied is that I haven’t opened a single RRSP update from my bank since mid-summer. I already have a pretty good sense of how ugly things are inside that envelope, and I don’t feel up to having it confirmed just yet. But… Read more »


The perils of squandering talent

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Filed under: Law School, Management, Talent

Malcolm Gladwell has written a new book about the factors that most influence the likelihood that you’ll achieve (traditionally defined) career success. Outliers: The Story of Success posits that much of what affects our success is out of our control, and that arbitrary or even trivial factors play a disproportionate role in what we end up… Read more »

Can’t get no LSATisfaction

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Filed under: Law School, New Lawyers

Here’s something interesting: the consultancy Kerma Partners recently conducted an in-depth study of more than 1,300 current and past “timekeepers” on behalf of an AmLaw 25 law firm. The study identified which personal qualities and attributes of lawyers correlated most strongly with firm success factors such as productivity and longevity. Lawyers possessing the best of… Read more »


The power of positive blogging

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Filed under: Innovation, Law21

It’s not often I can derive a blog post from a tweet, but Debbie Weil‘s recent Twitter entry sent me to this thought-provoking post at CopyBlogger, and got me thinking about the purpose of the legal blogosphere. Brian Clark’s entry talks about the phenomenon of “social proof” — people’s tendency to judge the quality of… Read more »

These are the days of miracle and wonder

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Filed under: Innovation

I’m not American, I didn’t cast a vote in the Nov. 4 election, and I’m not especially partisan (nor is this blog remotely political). I just wanted to make a very brief entry here about the courage to innovate. All of us have said, at one time or another, that there’s no point in trying… Read more »


Whatever happened to the talent war?

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Filed under: Talent

Funny, isn’t it, that you don’t hear many people using the phrase “$160,000 first-year associate salaries” these days? Along with its close relative, “$140 per barrel oil,” it’s a numeric mantra that enjoyed its heyday way back in that comparatively sunny era we call six months ago. Nowadays, though, no one seems to be talking… Read more »

Follow your clients through the recession

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Filed under: Clients

And now, your legal services marketplace update: “First six months of 2008 has weakest revenue growth in this decade. Expense growth is significantly higher than revenue growth. … [D]emand is falling, gross hours are falling. The old cliche that law firms are recession-proof has been debunked.” “Spending on outside counsel by corporations has dropped to… Read more »


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